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IMR Past Directors

Written by Webmaster. Last Updated on 28 November 2013. Hits: 13598

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HAMILTON WRIGHT, M.D. 
FIRST DIRECTOR 1900–1903.

He was sent by the London School of Tropical Medicine to set up a Pathological Institute in Kuala Lumpur. He came to Malaya in 1900.

His contributions were:

He planned and saw to the construction of the first building of the Institute for Medical Research in 1901. His studies on beriberi and malaria resulted in the publication of the first two volumes of the Institute's Study Series :

  • The malaria fever of British Malaya (1901)
  • An enquiry into etiology and pathology of beriberi (1902)


Recognition

  • A bronze plaque located in the first IMR building commemorated Sir Frank Swettenham as the Founder and Dr Hamilton Wright as the Organiser and the First Director of IMR. 

 

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CHARLES WILBERFORCE DANIELS, M.D., F.R.C.P.
SECOND DIRECTOR 1903-1905

He came to Kuala Lumpur to become the Director of the Institute for Medical Research in 1903.

His contributions were:

  • He applied a biological approach to tropical disease problems.
  • He reported on the breeding grounds of culicidae in Malaya.
  • He initiated studies on Malayan natural water and methods of purification.
  • He reported on the Selangor outbreak of rinderpest (1903-1904).


He wrote the following IMR Studies:

  • The diseases of British Malaya
  • Notes on the culicidae of Malaya

 

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HENRY FRASER, M.D., M.R.C.P.
THIRD DIRECTOR 1906–1916

He arrived in Kuala Lumpur to assume the Directorship of the Institute in 1906.

His contributions were:

  • He proved beriberi to be a nutritional deficiency disease. He was assisted by A. Stanton, W.G. Brandon and Fletcher and they showed that white rice caused beriberi but cured Indian rice did not.

 

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AMBROSE THOMAS STANTON K.C.G., M.D., B.Sc., F.R.C.P.
FOURTH DIRECTOR 1916–1926

He arrived in Malaya in 1907. His contributions were:

  • He conducted studies with Fraser to show the cause of beriberi. He was involved in the Durian Tipus field trial.
  • He worked on culicidae.
  • He found the cause of melioidosis.

 

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WILLIAM FLETCHER, M.D., F.R.C.P.
FIFTH DIRECTOR 1926–1927

He was a Pathologist at the IMR since 1909. His contributions were:

  • He assisted in the Durian Tipus field trial.
  • He dispelled fears then that some malaria cases were quinine resistant.
  • He re–established confidence in the use of quinine and cinchona alkaloids in treating malaria.
  • He worked on the therapy of dysentery, tropical typhus, leptospirosis and tsutsugamushi.


Recognition:

  • A bronze plaque located in the Biotechnology Division, IMR commemorates his pioneer work on tropical typhus.


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ALLEN NEAVE KINGSBURY, M.D., B.S., B.Sc., M.R.C.P. L.R.C.P., D.P.H., D.T.M. & H.
SIXTH DIRECTOR 1927–1941

He was a Pathologist at the IMR since 1924. His contributions were:

  • He introduced Pasteur treatment and preparation of rabies vaccine locally in 1924. He started The Lymph Station for Vaccine Production in 1929.
  • He initiated the opening of the Ipoh laboratory branch of the IMR in 1931.


K. SATO
SEVENTH DIRECTOR 1943–1945

He became the Director when the Japanese army took possession of IMR, 1942.



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O. KIMURA
EIGHTH DIRECTOR 1943–1945

O. Kimura took over from K. Sato.

During the occupation the IMR was known as Nettai Igaku Kenkyujo (Tropical Medicine Research Institute).


 

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RAYMOND LEWTHWAITE O.B.E., M.B., B.M., B.C.H., M,R.C.S., L.R.C.P.
NINTH DIRECTOR 1946–1949

He was a Pathologist at the IMR since 1928. He was appointed Director just before the Japanese occupation but had to leave Malaya in 1941.

His contributions were:

  • He helped to contribute towards a major portion of the fundamental knowledge to scrub typhus while he was away in Australia .
  • He was responsible for bringing British and American workers to continue research in scrub typhus.
  • He was closely associated with the U.S. Army Medical Research Team and they worked towards showing the curative value of Chloramphenicol for scrub typhus. 

 

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JOHN WILLIAM FIELD, C.M.G., M.D., Ch.B.
TENTH DIRECTOR 1949–1955

He was a Malaria Research Officer at the IMR from 1931. His contributions were:

  • He developed The Rapid Romanowsky Aqueous Stain for the thick film diagnosis of malaria ( Field Stain ) in 1941.
  • He was responsible for building a new block of laboratories in 1953. He published the IMR Studies No. 25, A Jubliee Volume.
  • He co–authored with A.A Sandosham and L.F. Yap for the publication of: – Microscopical diagnosis of human malaria, Part 1, and with P.G Shute for the publication of: – Microscopical diagnosis of human malaria, Part 2.

Recognition:

  • He was awarded the Chalmer's Medal for an outstanding contribution towards research in malaria in 1941.
  • A bronze plaque located at the Biotechnology Division, IMR is placed in recognition of his work on parasitology and chemotherapy of malaria. 

 

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THOMAS WILSON, C.B.E., M.D., D.P.H., D.T.M. & H.
ELEVENTH DIRECTOR 1956–1959

He was a Senior Malaria Research Officer at the IMR since 1949. He served in WHO Committees on malaria and filariasis.

His contributions were:

  • He contributed towards research for the control of malaria and filariasis.
  • He worked together with Edeson to show two forms of Malayan filarial worm that infected man.

 


 


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ARTHUR THOMAS HAPPLE MARSDEN, M.D., B.S.
TWELVE DIRECTOR 1959–1960

  • He was a Health Officer at the IMR since 1949. 
  • He was a Pathologist at the Ipoh branch in 1947. 
  • He became a Senior Pathologist in 1957. 


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JAMES ANANDAN CHELLIAH, M.D., Ch.B.
THIRTEENTH DIRECTOR 1960–1961

  • He was a Medical Officer at the General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur in 1930.
  • He subsequently joined the IMR at the Lymph Station in 1933. He became a Senior Pathologist at the Ipoh branch in 1949.
  • He was appointed the Director of IMR in 1960 and retired less than a year later.

 

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JOHN BRIGHT DUGUID, M.D., Ch.B.
FOURTEENTH DIRECTOR 1961–1964

He came to Malaya under the Technical Scheme, Colombo in 1960. After assuming the post, he subsequently declined the Directorship because of his interest in histopathology, 1964.

His contributions were:

  • He was a leading authority in histopathology and he trained the local pathologists.


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ARTHUR ANANTHARAJ SANDOSHAM, L.M.S., Ph.D, M.D. 
FIFTEENTH DIRECTOR 1964–1965

  • He was a Senior Malaria and Filariasis Medical Research Officer at the IMR since 1962.
  • He was the first principal of the SEAMEO–TROPMED D.A.P. & E. course which was first held in 1970.


His contributions were:

  • He was the author of the Manual: – Malariology with special reference to Malaya – a sequel of malaria in Malaya


Recognition:

  • Several parasites were named after him in recognition of the fact that he was a leading parasitologist, one of which is Plasmodium sandoshami , a malaria parasite from the flying lemur.

 


 

 

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PROFESOR UNGKU DATO’ OMAR AHMAD D.K., J.S.M., A.M., M.B.B.S. (Malaya) Ph.D. (London), D. Path (England), M.C.Path.(London), M.I.Biol.( London), F.C.A.P. (U.S.A.)
SIXTEENTH DIRECTOR 1965–1969

He joined the IMR soon after graduating with M.B.B.S. degree in 1957.

His contributions were:

  • He was acknowledged for his excellent services as Director of the Institute towards research in rural health and education problems.
  • His valuable services rendered included the declaring the IMR as Malaysia 's National
  • Centre for Tropical Medicine in 1967.
  • He initiated the School for training of Medical and Health Laboratory Technology. He was initiated the standardisation of laboratory work.
  • He started a post graduate programme in IMR.
  • He helped strengthen the Institute's association with the national and international organisations.


Recognition:

  • A bronze plaque commemorates the setting up of the School of Medical Laboratory Technology .
  • The Ungku Omar Hall or Auditorium is in named in memory of his services as Director. 

 

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DATUK ABU BAKAR IBRAHIM, P.S.D., J.S.M., M.B.B.S.
SEVENTEENTH DIRECTOR 1969–1971

  • He was a Medical Officer since 1953.
  • He was the Medical Superintendent of the General Hospital , Kuala Lumpur in 1960.
  • He was a Hospital Administrator and later became the Assistant Director of Medical
  • Services (Training Division) at the Ministry of Health in 1963.  

 

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DR. RANJEET BHAGWAN SINGH K.M.N., J.M.N., M.B.B.S., D.T.M.N., Ph.D., M.E.PATH., M.I.Biol., F.R.C. Path.
EIGHTEENTH DIRECTOR 1972–1974

He was a Medical Officer at the IMR since 1951. He then became the Senior Bacteriologist in 1960. He became the Deputy Director in 1971.

His contributions were:

  • He discovered a new antibiotic 'antinomin'.
  • He established The Division of Bacteriology as the WHO Reference Centre on salmonellosis.
  • He was a philanthropist who contributed generously towards medical science and education.
  • He bequeathed his entire estate to the Ranjeet Bhagwan Singh Medical Research Endowment.
  • He was a Consultant and participated in several expert working groups: WHO, SEAMEO, SIRIM, in the field of research management, tropical diseases and biological products. 


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GEORGE FRANCIS DE WITT J.S.M., S.M.P, K.M.N., B.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D., F.R.I.C., F.M.I.C., F.M.S.A., A.M.
NINETEENTH DIRECTOR 1975–1984

  • He was a Biochemist at the IMR since 1957. He became the Senior Biochemist in 1962.
  • He was the Institute's Deputy Director in 1971.


His contributions were:

  • He identified national and regional priorities and guided departmental efforts towards diseases orientated programmes.
  • He established the Division of Radiochemistry, the Snake Farm and the Biomedical Museum.
  • He helped in strengthening the Institute by collaborating with national and international organisations.


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DATUK ( DR) LIM TEONG WAH D.S.P.N., J.S.M., M.B.B.S. (Mal), Dip. Bact. (Manchester), F.R.C.Path. (UK), A.M. (Mal), F.R.C.P.A.
TWENTIETH DIRECTOR 1984–1987

  • He was a Medical Officer at the IMR since 1958.
  • He became a Bacteriologist at the IMR in 1960.
  • He was a Senior Virus Research Officer in 1965.
  • He was the Deputy Director in 1975.


His contributions were:

  • He worked on the various aspects of microbiology and parasitology.
  • He reported on the presence of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (Korean haemorrhagic fever) in Malaysia for the first time.
  • He Initiated, coordinated and directed large scale field research projects on dengue, haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, malaria, filariasis and angiostrongylosis utilising several research grants.
  • He was a Consultant and he participated in expert working groups of WHO, SEAMEO, PORIM, and MPKSN in research management, tropical and viral diseases and blological products. He was also a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on biological standardisation.


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DATO’ (DR) M. JEGATHESAN D.P.M.P., J.S.M.., K.M.N., P.J.K., M.B.B.S., (S’pore), D.T.M.N. (B’kok), D.C.P. (London, D.Path. (England), F.R.C.Path., F.C.A.P., F.R.C.P.A., A.M. (Malaysia)
TWENTY FIRST DIRECTOR 1988–1993

  • He was a trainee Pathologist in IMR.
  • He headed the Division of Serology from 1971–1974.
  • He then headed the Division of Bacteriology from 1974–1985.
  • Thereafter, he became the Head of the Department of Laboratory Services, Hospital Kuala Lumpur between 1978–1985.Subsequently, he was made the Dean of the SEAMEO–TROPMED Diploma in Medical Microbiology Course from 1978–1985.
  • He was appointed the Deputy Director–General (Research and Technical Support) at the Ministry of Health Malaysia on 17.12.1993.


His contributions were:

  • He concentrated his efforts on research capability strengthening, institutional strengthening, consolidating and broadening strategic alliances both nationally and internationally and catalysed the renewed drive towards research excellence.
  • He streamlined procedures for research management which included funding, peer review and evaluation mechanisms.
  • His personal research contributions included various aspects of medical microbiology, laboratory medicine and infectious diseases that are of national and international importance.
  • His particular areas of contribution are in epidemiology of salmonellosis and shigellosis ; establishment/standardization of procedures for the microbiological examination of food–stuff according to the Food Act and its regulations; establishment of the Ministry of Health procedure for the accreditation of private laboratories; contribution towards the formulation of disinfectant and antibiotic policies for the Ministry of Health.


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DR. ISMAIL MOHD. NOOR S.M.T., K.M.N., B.C.K., M.B.B.S. (Ngapur), M.P.H. (BERKELEY)
TWENTY SECOND DIRECTOR – from 16.12.1993 – 15.6.1994

His contributions were:
  • He coined the mission statement for the IMR: "EXCELLENCE IN MEDICAL RESEARCH THROUGH TOTAL COMMITMENT".
  • He motivated the creation of 12 monthly colourful posters depicting work Ethics and Moral. 

 

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DR. MOHAMAD TAHA BIN ARIFF P.P.B., P.P.T., K.M.N., M.B.B.S. (UM), D.I.P. PUBLIC HEALTH (GLASGOW)
TWENTY THIRD DIRECTOR – from 16.6.1994 – 15.3.1996

  • He graduated from the University of Malaya in April 1974.
  • He served as a Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health and subsequently served as Medical and Health Officer (M & H.O) in charge of hospitals in various places in Sarawak from May 1975.
  • He was the Deputy Director of Health, Medical and Health Services, Sarawak from August 1983.
  • He was the Director of Health, Medical and Health Services, Negeri Sembilan from December 1988.
  • He was the Director of Health, Medical and Health Services, Kelantan from March 1991.
  • He was appointed the Director of IMR, Kuala Lumpur in June 1994.


His contributions were:

  • He introduced the Public Development Services Circular.
  • He introduced the Computer System.
  • He established the present Library System.
  • He ensured that the IMR was renovated to its present status.
  • He set up the Dengue Research Unit.


Recognition:

  • He was awarded the "Bintang Kesatria Mangku Negara (KMN)" on 30th March 1995. 

 

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DR. MAK JOON WAH K.M.N., J.S.M., M.B.B.S. (Singapore) 1967, D.A.P. & E. (Malaysia) 1972, M.P.H. (UM) 1976, M.D. (Singapore) 1980, M.R.C.Path. (England) 1983, F.R.C. Path. (England) 1995
TWENTY FOURTH DIRECTOR – from 16.3.1996 – 11.12.1997

  • He was a Temporary Medical Officer, 6.3.1968.
  • He was a Medical Officer at the Filariasis Division, 15.9.1972.
  • He was acting Head, Division of Filariasis, 22.8.1975.
  • He was Head, Division of Filariasis, 1.1.1975.
  • He was Acting Specialist Officer (Science), 1.1.1980.
  • He was Medical Officer, 1.7.1980.
  • He was Medical Officer (Research) 16.4.1985.
  • He was a Pathology Specialist, (Clinical Specialist), 27.4.1989.
  • He was Acting Pathology Specialist, 16.1.1991.
  • He was Medical Officer (Research), 16.1.1991.
  • He was Acting Pathology Specialist, 1.6.1993.
  • He was a Research Specialist, 1.6.1993.


His contributions were:

  • He served with WHO in Indonesia, 1980.
  • He was a Member of 'the WHO expert Advisory Panel on Parasitic Disease (Filarial Infection)', 1.11.1987.
  • He was a Member of 'the WHO Short Term Consultant in Malaria' in Kunming The People's Republic of China.


Recognition:

  • He was awarded the National Science Award by "Majlis Penyelidikan dan Kemajuan Sains Negara (MPKSN)" in conjunction with the launch of The National Science Day in 1985/1986.
  • He was presented with the IMR Excellent Service Award in 1992. 

 

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DR NARIMAH BINTI AWIN B.K.K.M.N, J.S.M.
TWENTY FIFTH DIRECTOR – from 16.7.1998 – 1.12.1999

  • She was a Medical Officer, General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, 1997 – 1980.
  • She was Health Officer, Disease Control Division, KKM, 1980 –1985.
  • She was a Senior Health Officer, Kuala Terengganu District, 1986 – 1989.
  • She was Assistant Director, Disease Control Division, KKM, 1990 – 1992.
  • She was Assistant Director, Family Health Division, KKM, 1992 – 1995.
  • She was the Director, Public Health Institute, Kuala Lumpur, 1995 – 1998.
  • She was the Director, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, 1998 – 1999.


Her contributions were:

  • She was an Advisor and Trainer to the WHO on:
  • Diarrhea and Immunization Programme (New Delhi, 1986)
  • Quality Assurance In Primary Health Care (Jordan, 1994)
  • Human Resource Development in Primary Care (Seoul, 1997)
  • She implemented training in Mother and Child Health and Disease Control for the WHO at national and international levels.
  • She was a Consultant at the Women and Health Conference and this included the preparation of a Policy Paper on National Women's Action Plan.
  • She delivered working papers on Public Health, Cancer Control, Coronary Disease Control, Environmental Disease, Quality Assurance in Health Services, Human Resource Development, etcetera.


Recognition:

  • She was presented with the Ministry of Health Excellent Services Award in 1992.
  • She was awarded the Kesatria Mangku Negara Award (KMN) in 1993.
  • She was awarded the Johan Setia Mahkota Award (JSM) in 1999.

 

Image 007cLye Munn Sann 1999
Twenty–sixth Director

  

DR LYE MUNN SANN JSM, KMN, MBBS(UM), MPH(Tulane), DrPH(Tulane), AM(Mal), FACE(USA)
TWENTY SIXTH DIRECTOR – from 1.12.1999 to 24 September 2004

  • He joined the Ministry of Health as a Medical Officer on 8 May 1974.
  • He was the Medical Officer, Division of Community Health Research, IMR, 1979 - 1986.
  • He was the Head, Division of Community Health Research, IMR, 1986 – 1994.
  • He was the Head, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, IMR, 1994 - 1999
  • He was the Head, Department of Community Medicine, 1994 – 30 November 1999


His contributions were:

  • He served as the Editor-in-Chief, International Medical Research Journal, IMR, Kuala Lumpur
  • He served on the Editorial Board, Acta Tropica, 1993 – 1999
  • He served on the Editorial Board, Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, Bangkok, 1990 – 1999
  • He was the Head, Epidemiology Investigation Team, Nipah Outbreak, 1999
  • He was the WHO Temporary Advisor, Informal Consultative Meeting on Implementers of ARI Management in the Community, Geneva, 1999
  • He was appointed by WHO as a member of the Scientific Working Group on Epidemiology and Disease Prevention which met in Geneva in February and September 1986.


Recognition:

  • He was presented with the IMR Excellent Services Award in 1996 .
  • He was awarded the Johan Setia Mahkota Award (JSM) in 2000.
  • He was awarded the DSPN, Penang in 2004.

 

Image 008cNg Kok Han 2004
Twenty–seventh Director

 

DR NG KOK HAN KMN, BDS (UM), FDSRCPS (Glasgow), MSc (London), MRCPath (UK), FRCPath (UK), AM (Mal)
TWENTY SEVENTH DIRECTOR – from 1.10.2004 - 1.10.2006

  • He was the Senior Dental Officer, Division of Stomatology, IMR, 1 April 1977– 1983.
  • He was the Head, Division of Stomatology, IMR, 1984 – 13 April 2005.
  • He was the Head, Department of Clinical Pathology, 1996 – 2001.
  • He was the Head, Cancer Research Centre, IMR, 16 April 2001 – 31 March 2005.


His contributions were:

  • He was a Member, Editorial Board, Malaysian Dental Journal.
  • He was the Honorary Consultant Oral Pathologist, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya.
  • He was the Chairman, Oral Diseases Commission, Asian Pacific Dental Federation.
  • He was a Member, Advisory Panel, National Steering Committee for the Programme of Primary Prevention and Early Detection of Oral Precancer and Cancer, Oral Health Division, MOH.
  • He was the Dental Overseas Representative of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.

 

 

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